Christianity is not defined by the “big things” done in public, but it must also include the lowly and unseen. Mother Teresa [1919-1997], the Albanian-Roman Catholic nun and missionary reiterated, “We can do no great things—only small things with great love.”
This a great quote to introduce the sermon for this morning. Jesus confronts Peter for his denial of Himself. As you recall Jesus predicted that Peter would deny Him three times before the cock crowed twice that very night. Peter denied such a betrayal of course. But as expected our Lord’s prediction stood. Peter did just that.
In the confrontation in John 21 it appears Jesus gets under the skin of his disciple by asking him three times if he loves his Lord. The third-time Jesus appears to use a lesser kind of word for love that is known as filial love rather than the deep love of agape. That must have hurt!
I have empathy for Peter. He probably would have given anything to call back the words he spoke during the trial of Jesus. Denials he made with even curses to emphasize his not knowing the man.
How many times have I done something that denied the Lord? Was it my absence from worship or my half-hearted attempt at worship? Was it when I was tempted and yielded so easily to it? How many times would Jesus ask me if I had any love at all?
We’ve something to learn in this encounter. Peter learned; Peter never again denied even in the face of death. He finished the course, and yes, he loved Jesus. Let’s help one another follow his lead to love Jesus our Lord with all our being. Charles Bishop